What are students' expectations of college? S. Dipak Ragav finds out.

It is that time of the year when scores of students anxiously ponder over their future after school.

Having gone through the grind especially in their last two years of school in addition to writing numerous entrance exams to various colleges and universities, students have to make the ever-important decision which more or less sets the foundation for their lives.

We caught up with a few students to get their views about their expectations from college. The first and foremost thing that students want is a fresh approach to academics.

Senthil Ramamurthy, who wants to pursue computer science engineering, says, “With the constantly changing technology, colleges need to come up with fresh ideas and update their curriculum accordingly.”

Aravind Kumar, who is going to pursue B.Com., says, “The college needs to support students who want to do their C.A. concurrently and not discourage them by asking them to do it after finishing their degree.”

R. Bharadwaj, who studied biology in school but wants to pursue computer science engineering, expects colleges to give special training in programming for students who did not study computer science in school.

Tabreez Ahamed, who is preparing medicine, says, “Good infrastructure and hands-on training arimportant for medical students.

The college must also teach the students about the latest developments in the medical field and there should be some flexibility in the curriculum.” Apart from this, students felt that colleges could conduct orientation programmes on each course so that they could make an informed choice.

Life in college has been glorified as a period where there are no boundaries.

After having spent 12 years with teachers who are mostly strict, students expect the faculty to be friendlier and treat them as adults and not kids.

Chandini, an engineering aspirant, says, “We would like more innovative teaching methods which includes the use of visual examples.”

Freedom

Stepping into college also means freedom from strict disciplines such as uniforms, timings and attendance.

So, what do students want from their college life?

Aishwarya Chandrasekhar, who wants to pursue B.Com., says, “I would prefer a college that has a good balance of academics and extracurricular work, where students can try their hands at different things to see what they are really good at.”

However, Varsha Srinivasan, who wants to pursue engineering in bio-technology says, “Some of the colleges I have seen have instructions on dress code but it would be nice if they do not force it on us.”

Soundarya, who wants to pursue B.Sc. in physics, says, “I would want the course to be based on practical experiments so that we understand the concepts better. This will help me with my career as well.”

Less pressure

Mrudula, who is planning to pursue a course in Psychology, says, “Throughout school we have been put through a rigorous routine that focussed solely on studies especially in the last two years. There was too much pressure. So, I would be happy if the college makes sure that we do not go through the same stress and that we also have opportunities for co-curricular activities.”

They seem to be excited about the opportunity of making new friends as they take the next step.

Aishwarya says, “I am excited about the new people I'm going to meet and the freedom that comes with college life.”